The negativity started the day Guns N Roses announced their reunion tour Not In This Lifetime – they would never stay together long enough to tour, they would be fighting constantly, the concerts would be full of mistakes and forgotten lyrics, Axl’s voice would never be able to handle their songs, and on and on. WRONG. Guns N Roses, like an expensive fine wine, have aged wonderfully.
Axl Rose was in full voice all night Saturday night – hitting all the high notes, and his lower register is even deeper and more mellow than when they were recording. The mostly original members of GnR played and sang like there had never been a break in their performances. Axl started the set with It’s So Easy , and indeed it appeared to be exactly that…easy. Axl worked the stage like he did in the late 80s and 90s, constantly on the go and dancing while he exercised that unique and distinctive instrument called a singing voice. Duff McKagan played his bass and sang like the old days. The night was filled with songs we all know and love like Sweet Child O Mine, Welcome to the Jungle, Live and Let Die, Civil War, and Knocking On Heaven’s Door punctuated by numerous solos by the band members while Axl disappeared off stage to emerge fresh, invigorated and in yet another dry shirt (a total of 6 shirts I think – there was enough sweat on that stage to fill a good sized pool). Slash performed multiple solos that were 6 to 8 minutes long – you are the ultimate guitar beast Slash and make my heart sing with joy when you play.
GnR finished their set with Nightrain to a packed Citrus Bowl of 70,000+ who clapped, cheered and chanted for more. Returning to the stage for a three song encore, the night came to a perfect close to the strains of all singing Paradise City and pyrotechnics.
Thank you Guns N Roses for coming back to your roots and your fans – we love you and can’t wait for more from you in the future.
Photo credit: Katarina Benzova